U.S. government agencies were examining social media postings purporting to show how an American who was fighting with an al-Qaeda affiliate blew himself up in a suicide attack in northern Syria, U.S. officials said.
The officials, who declined to be identified, said U.S. agencies assessed the postings were likely authentic. One said some investigators believed they knew the “U.S. person’s” true identity, but declined to give further details.
According to internet postings, the suicide bomber, who called himself “Abu Hurayra al-Amriki” carried out one of four suicide bombings on May 25 in Syria’s Idlib province on behalf of Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate fighting to oust the government of President Bashar al Assad.
If his identity is confirmed, he would be the first American known to have committed a suicide bombing in Syria on behalf of al-Qaeda, said Laith Alkhouri, a senior analyst with Flashpoint Global Partners, which monitors terrorist websites for government and private clients.